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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Did the Massasauga (Sistrurus Catenatus) Cross the Road?

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AUTHORS: Monica Matthews*, Jillian Josimovich, and Bruce A. Kingsbury, Department of Biology, Indiana University-Purdue University

ABSTRACT: The presence and installation of roads can impact a wide range of wildlife species through road mortality, habitat fragmentation, decreased genetic diversity and habitat destruction or degradation. Research has shown not only that snakes are among those taxa that can be negatively impacted by roads but that they also perceive roads as being dangerous, which in turn affects movement behavior and mortality rates in snake populations. The road ecology of Massasaugas (Sistrurus catenatus) has been little studied and with the Massasauga’s recent federal listing of threatened, it is pertinent that we gain a better understanding of how roads impact Massasaugas and how Massasaugas respond to roads to better inform management practices. Through radio-telemetry monitoring, we have been able to observe the movements of 34 Massasaugas in Northern Michigan. We used R analysis software to calculate distances and directions moved and Netlogo to preliminarily evaluate Massasauga movement in regards to roads. At this point in the study with one more active season to go, the preliminary results suggest that Massasaugas are apprehensive to cross roads but that there are nonetheless individuals within the population that are willing and capable of crossing roads successfully. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (3)